Skip to main content
Science Journal annual report hero

Dean's Letter - 2023 Annual Report

13 March 2024
Tracy Langkilde photo as dean for the Eberly College of Science.

I’m excited to share this new “impact report” version of our long-standing Science Journal magazine.

We recently embarked on a survey of our alumni and other members of our college community to identify what you would most like to get out of these publications. We learned that many of you enjoy reading a publication with news and updates about the college but would like some quick hits and facts. This is where the shorter “impact report” was born. We are using this format to provide a snapshot, using storytelling and short highlights to update you on the state of the college. We have included QR codes in the print version so you can read additional information on our website. We will continue to deliver stories about the college community in a full-length issue of the magazine as well as on our website, social media channels, and newsletters.

I want to extend a huge welcome to our newest alumni! This 2023, our college conferred more than a thousand undergraduate and graduate degrees, and we are excited and proud to welcome you as you join more than 52,500 Eberly College of Science alumni.

Speaking of welcomes: we’ve seen several changes over the past few months. We’re so delighted to have three new department heads join our college leadership team: Mauricio Terrones, physics; Paul Milewski, mathematics; and Santhosh Giriajan, biochemistry and molecular biology (interim). We are also pleased to welcome Jennelle Malcos as assistant dean for undergraduate students, David Simpson as associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and Seša Slavković as associate dean for research.

These leadership additions along with recently updated rankings show that Penn State—and our college in particular—is a great place to study and work.

The University has jumped significantly in two of the most impactful 2023 global educational rankings—the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings—placing us in the top 6 percent worldwide. Penn State rose 10 places in the QS rankings to No. 8 among public universities nationally and No. 4 among Big Ten institutions. The University also rose 29 places in the THE rankings to No. 122 in the world. These rankings measure academic reputation but also emphasize employability and sustainability, and it is fantastic to be recognized for this impact! We are also tied for 6th in U.S. News & World Report—a 17-spot jump since 2022.

We have so much to celebrate within our college. As a colleague recently pointed to out me: “We’re rockin’ it this semester.” 

At the recent University-wide 2023 Undergraduate Exhibition, nearly one-third of the poster prizes went to students doing research in our college. We have a long-standing and impressive track record of student leaders receiving the national Goldwater Scholarship, with two more added this year. Two of the 8 awardees of Penn State’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award, and 3 of the 13 recipients of Penn State’s 2023 Alumni Fellow Award, are graduates of our college. Our graduate students, faculty, and staff have also been widely recognized for their scholarly, teaching, and mentoring impact.

These accolades are a telling reflection of our college’s impact. We are central to Penn State’s educational mission, not only for our majors, but for those in every college at the University Park campus; we are leading collaborative research throughout the University; and our outreach efforts engage and serve individuals across campuses. Our alumni are among the foremost professionals both in academia and industry.

I am proud of the University-wide, statewide, and global impact of our college and so grateful to lead an amazing group of innovators. Thank you, all, for your partnership and support.

Kind regards,
Tracy Langkilde
Verne M. Willaman Dean
Eberly College of Science